To truly succeed on camera, you need looks and talent. Alyssa Alanna Tan's on-camera ability has won her a presenting stint at this month's MTV World Stage Malaysia 2014, alongside MTV Asia's resident VJs Hanli Hoefer and Alan Wong.
Ms Tan beat more than 100 local applicants in Acuvue and MTV Asia's Dare To Be month-long competition to get the dream opportunity.
But her winning video did not feature her most extraordinary ability.
"My so-called talent is very embarrassing - I can do impressions of radio stations' slogans," said the 21-year-old Singaporean, in an interview with M last week.
"For example, Kiss92's 'All The Great Hits In One Place'.
"As a kid, I loved sitting in the backseat of my parents' car, imitating the way radio DJs pronounce these catchphrases.
"I was always pretending to be a DJ. My parents found me more annoying than anything," she recalled with a laugh.
The SIM-RMIT University graduate - she has a Bachelor in Professional Communication - is now en route to fulfilling her dream of becoming a television presenter.
MTV World Stage Malaysia, an annual music fiesta now in its sixth year, will be held on Aug 16 at Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur.
This year's event features performers such as US rapper B.o.B, Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna and South Korean boyband Boys Republic.
Ms Tan will be joining three other regional winners from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
"Maybe when I'm in KL, I might show off my 'imitation skills' in front of the camera, all in the name of good fun," she mused.
The Dare To Be campaign required contestants to upload a picture of themselves online. Then, after a week of public voting, two Singapore finalists were shortlisted and judges chose the champion based on the finalists' self-produced introductory videos.
The voting period was "the most fun" for Ms Tan as she had to actively seek votes from family and friends.
"As a result, my parents are now my biggest fans," she exclaimed.
Ms Tan added that she felt only "50-50" about her chance of winning.
"I did have some prior hosting experience. During my poly days - she has a diploma in media studies and management from Nanyang Polytechnic -I was part of the presenting team of our campus TV channel," she said.
"Also, I've hosted shows at *Scape, and other events here.
"That said, the other contestants were pretty strong too, so when I won, it was a pleasant surprise. This is an incredible opportunity." As for favourite presenters, Ms Tan cites Hoefer, Singapore-based George Young ("he has so much charisma") and American Idol stalwart Ryan Seacrest ("he is great at engaging audiences").
Her music tastes are wide-ranging.
"Like most girls, I went through a K-pop phase. For a while, I really liked K-pop rock band FTIsland," she gushed.
"These days, I enjoy easy-listening fare by Norah Jones, indie music and alternative rock."
This article was published on Aug 6 in The New Paper.
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